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GNORocs Innovation Internship Suite

Entrepreneurship is a critical component of a thriving economy; and assuring that everyone has access to entrepreneurial opportunities is a fundamental yet, transformative pillar of economic equality. In the New Orleans metropolitan area, per the New Orleans Data Center, Black-owned businesses account for approximately 24% of businesses, while white-founded firms make up 63% of businesses in our region.

GNO, Inc.’s Economic Mobility Strategy, which focuses on action-oriented solutions and initiatives aimed to create wealth for the African American community in the New Orleans region, seeks to mitigate our regional startup disparity.

The HBCU Startup Internship Program is made possible by the support of Landis Construction and Chevron.

About the Program

GNO, Inc. has initiated, in partnership with Xavier, Dillard, University of New Orleans and SUNO, The GNORocs Innovation Internship.  The goal of this program is to increase startup activity of HBCU students in our region by providing real time experience to foster entrepreneurial ideation and development.

The HBCU Startup Internship pairs 12 selected Juniors and Seniors from the partnering institutions with startup companies in the region who are seeking qualified, diverse talent. The goal of the program is to train the next generations of successful entrepreneurs of color, inspire students to become innovative change makers, and increase the innovation capacity of regional startup firms.

The internship, which is a paid program, will introduce the students to the entrepreneurial mindset and provide hands-on training in high impact, real-world entrepreneurship settings.  Participants will develop creative capacity, entrepreneurial confidence, mentorship, and acquire the necessary skills to build scalable startups that solve real problems.

Successful intern candidates will be expected to:

  • Be eager to learn and work in a startup environment
  • Proactively identify opportunities to expand or enhance the startup’s business model
  • Fulfill tasks and assignments timely and accurately
  • Develop positive and productive relationships with the startup’s staff

GNO, Inc., through partnership with Krewe de Nieux, has identified 12 startups in the region that will host the interns. This 8-week internship experience will start on June 6, 2022 and end on July 29, 2022. The interns will be paid $15/hour through funding that GNO, Inc. has secured independently.

This internship cohort will launch with a week-long startup intensive program, The HBCU Startup Boot-Camp, to provide students with an interactive startup intensive that will provide an accelerated opportunity to learn what it takes to be a successful startup founder.

The internship experience will also include a workshop, The Nuts and Bolts of Launching a Startup, sponsored by Phelps Dunbar, which will offer practical guidance on the legal aspects of business formation and intellectual property, as well as a presentation by a local creative marketing agency on branding and marketing. The experience will culminate with a Founders’ Reception, presented by Landis Construction, in which the interns will have an opportunity to network with founders and reflect on their experience.


Applications are now closed for 2024.